Buy wine from the Med to boost brain power

Buy wine from the Mediterranean region as part of a geographically inspired diet, and you could potentially see protective effects for your brain during your later years.

New research conducted on a small group of elderly Mediterranean inhabitants shows that several hallmark characteristics of the local diet can be linked - although not conclusively - with protective effects.

The authors, from the University of Navarra in Spain, admit that their sample size was small, and that their participants were considered to be at high risk of vascular problems from the outset.

As a result, any conclusions drawn may not apply to the population as a whole - but the research still makes for interesting reading.

Characteristics of a Mediterranean diet include moderate red wine intake, low consumption of red meat and dairy, higher consumption of seafood, high consumption of nuts, vegetables and fruits, and the use of olive oil as the main fat.

The researchers found that scores on two tests of cognitive impairment "were significantly higher for those following either [high olive oil or high mixed nut] diets, compared with those on the low-fat option".

As such, when you buy wine as part of an overall Mediterranean-style diet, you might be in with a chance of a similarly positive effect - although further research may be required to confirm that the benefits are universal.